Jim Costa had to wait more than a year for the rematch that ignited his political career. Letitia Perez will only have to wait about two months.
Now a veteran Democratic moderate congressman from the Fresno-Madera area, Costa lost to Hanford Republican Phil Wyman in a special election in the 16th state Senate district in 1993, but came back a year later to win the seat and hold it until he was termed out in 2002.
Perez lost the same seat to a Republican in a May special election – or so it seemed until all votes were finally counted. Perez conceded after the May vote, saying in a written statement that “I want to congratulate (Republican) Andy Vidak on winning this hard-fought race.”
The Wall Street Journal hailed Vidak’s “victory” as a “farmers’ rebellion.” The state Republican Party looked on Vidak’s “win” as a sign it could succeed even in districts where Democrats have large registration advantages (17 percent in this case). But not so fast...